The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has turned down the appeal for an extension of the deadline for the conduct of primaries by political parties.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this at the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with leaders of 18 registered political parties on Tuesday in Abuja.
The INEC boss spoke as Yusuf Yabagi, Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), appealed to the commission to extend the June 3 deadline for political parties’ primaries for the 2023 general election, by two months.
But while dismissing such calls, Yakubu said any extension in the timeline for an activity would affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission.
He said that any extension in the timeline for an activity would affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission, NAN reports.
“I hereby reiterate the position of the Commission that there will be no review of the timelines. There are so many interrelated activities associated with the timelines that must be carried out,” he said.
“Any review to extend the timeline for one activity will affect other activities and put unnecessary pressure on political parties and the commission.”
Speaking on Ekiti and Osun governorship elections slated for June 18 and July 16, Yakubu said Section 42 of the Electoral Act 2022 required the commission to invite political parties to inspect samples of materials for the election not later than 20 days before the date fixed for an election.
Earlier, Yabagi said that the demand for adjusting the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections was adopted unanimously by the 18 political parties at the IPAC general assembly meeting.
“By implication, the IPAC leadership is appealing to the INEC to extend the deadline for conducting party primaries and resolve ensuing conflicts from the present INEC given date of June 3 to August 4.”
He explained that some of the issues that made parties demand an extension “are based on certain circumstances and developments that have hampered timely and strict compliance by the political parties to the timetable.”
He listed some of the developments that were not considered by INEC while drawing up the schedule of activities as the Ramadan fast, the Eld-el-Fitr and Easter celebrations within the period.